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Life is a highway

We know ‘em, we’ve seen ‘em, and the most troubling of all, we’ve shared the road with ‘em! Distracted drivers are everywhere and as much as we wish it wasn’t the case, it has become a - totally preventable - national problem.

Just to clear the air a little, distracted driving is not limited to the use of your phone while driving. It also includes activities such as eating, checking your makeup in the mirror, keeping tabs on the kids in the backseat, and reading while you drive. If you’re not focused on the road, you’re not in control and that’s when things can get a little messy.

In 2017, the OPP report that 4,700 crashes were caused by to speeding, 1,158 were due to drunk drivers and a whopping 6,390 collisions were caused by distracted drivers. Unfortunately, this number is on the rise even though tougher distracted driving laws have been implemented.

The insurance industry is also taking a hard line when it comes to distracted driving convictions with some companies treating the offence in the same manner as an impaired driving conviction. The offender may find themselves looking to a facility or high risk market on renewal with a premium surcharge of up to 50%. Insurance companies take all conviction related suspensions seriously, so keep in mind that licence suspensions can have a severe impact on your premium!

  • Keep your cell phone out of reach. It’ll be safe in your glove box or in your purse, we promise!
  • Use an earpiece, headset or Bluetooth, and be sure to connect voice-activated dialing.
  • Use a GPS that is mounted and make sure you input the required information before you start driving.
  • Activate your favourite Spotify playlist before your start driving - the “Songs to Sing in the Car” list is a great one FYI!
  • Eat breakfast, have your morning coffee, and do your makeup before you head out for the day. Waking up a few minutes early might cost you a few z’s but it could save you a lot $’s.

Parents, you’ve done well when it comes to teaching teens about the perils of drinking and driving (even though you’ve become a part-time taxi service in the process) but, it’s important to continuously teach them about the consequences that come with distracting driving. We have to educate them and more importantly, we have to teach by example.

Perhaps you feel like you need to be accessible at all times to your family, friends, and co-workers or maybe you have a severe case of social media FOMO, either way, distracted driving has put not only our lives, but the lives of others at risk.

It’s time for a change and it starts with each and every one one of us!